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Help your Au Pair learn family routines

daily routine

Your new Au Pair will need to learn new routines while also adjusting to your family and new surroundings. She may not pick up everything you say at first as she is adjusting to a new language, so in this posting we provide some tips and a tool you can use to help her learn your routines and tasks.

Preparation

Before your Au Pair arrives document the routine for each day of the week. Talk her through the routine and give her a printed copy, also pin up the schedule in a place where she can easily refer to them (for example in the kitchen).

For the first couple of weeks speak a little slower than normal. A smiling yet confused looking Au Pair didn't understand what you just said.

Demonstrate

Be available to show her how to carry out some of the tasks. Explain why you do things the way you do so she can understand your preferences.

Over the first few days show her how your oven works, how the washing machine works, where plates and pots are placed, where your recycling and garbage bins are, and where cleaning equipment is for her bedroom and bathroom.

Engage in play and include your Au Pair to help the children get used to the new member of the Family.

Expectations

Do not expect your Au Pair to get everything completely right at the start. Be patient and run through it again.

Generally it takes a couple of weeks to get used to the routine, and about a month to settle into a new family. It all so typically takes a month for an Au Pair to feel comfortable regularly speaking a different language.

Au Pair changeover

If you are transitioning between Au pairs it is ideal to have the new Au Pair start about a week before your current Au Pair leaves. Your new Au Pair can shadow the current Au Pair and share some of the tasks as a way to become familar with the routine. This takes some of the hand over responsibility off you, though it is still recommended you spend time discussing your preferences.

This can also help your new Au Pair create social connections, learning about things to do in the area and meeting the current Au Pair's local friends.

An example daily routine

Day: Monday
Time Description Notes
6:30am Start time – Host mum leaves for work

Unload dishwasher
7:00am Prepare Ethan’s breakfast

Unload dishwasher
Breakfast choices are posted on the fridge
7:30am Pack Ethan’s school bag

Take lunch and drink bottle from fridge and put in school bag
7:40am Make Ethan’s bed

Help Ethan get dressed into school uniform
8:15am Take Ethan to school

Text Mum and let her know Ethan is at school
2:15pm Leave to pick Ethan up from School and return home
3:00pm Text host mum and let her know Ethan is home Ethan is allowed up to 30 minutes of childrens television
3:30pm Offer Ethan a small snackPlay with Billie Offer fruit
4:45pm Prepare Ethan’s dinner Dinner details are posted on the fridge
5:15pm Give Ethan his dinner
5:30pm Put any toys away and general tidy of Ethan’s play corner
5:30pm Parents arrive home

Template for you to download

Routine Template (Microsoft Word)

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